Scott Dixon was exhilarated and screaming. He also felt alone, dazed by winning the Indianapolis 500.


Scott Dixon was exhilarated and screaming. He also felt alone, dazed by winning the Indianapolis 500.
A day after the biggest victory of his life, he took a more leisurely spin around Indy. He rode slowly around the 2 1/2-mile oval on a white speedway bus, surrounded by microphones, notepads and cameras.
“I don’t normally yell too often,” he recalled Monday. “But I was definitely yelling and I had a few four-letter words in there as well to the team. Winning here, it’s like nothing else.
“I keep saying to people that’s the funniest part of it because all you’re wanting to do is get back to the pits and enjoy it with everybody else. You feel so alone out there on that (cool-down) lap, and all you can do is talk to them on the radio.”
The 27-year-old New Zealander was “almost dumbfounded” when he got to Victory Lane.
“It’s such a strange feeling,” he said. “And, for me, I don’t show emotions too much. I don’t know, it’s almost like you’re in a dreamland.”
On Monday morning, Dixon was still struggling for perspective.
“It hasn’t really kicked in yet,” the new Indy champion said. “I think it’s going to take a week or two to really soak it up.
“It’s pretty cool. I only just saw the paper. Seeing yourself on the front page and drinking the milk. It’s just the little things like that that add to it, you know, and you start to feel the sensation of it.”
Nobody disputes that Dixon is one of the best drivers in the IRL’s IndyCar Series. But because he is quiet and generally stays out of trouble on the track he is often overlooked.
In the days leading to the race, the bright lights were on Indy glamour girl Danica Patrick, teammate Tony Kanaan (considered by many the best current driver never to have won this race) and Marco Andretti, the 21-year-old scion of the family that has been trying without success to win a second 500 since grandfather Mario’s 1969 victory.
And it was those three that drew most of the attention after a sloppy race marred by eight caution flags.
Patrick started fifth and never ran above sixth once the race began. She complained repeatedly to her team about a slow car and then got taken out on pit lane with 30 laps to go when Ryan Briscoe spun his tires and slammed into her car coming out of his pit.
The enduring image from the 92nd Indy 500 most likely will be that of the 5-foot-1, 100-pound Patrick stomping toward Briscoe’s pit stall, ripping off her gloves, looking for a fight. She was stopped by track security.
“It’s probably a better idea that I didn’t make it all the way down there anyway,” she said. “Because, well, as you guys know, I’m a little emotional.”
Kanaan and Andretti appeared to have cars capable of running with Dixon until Andretti crowded his Andretti Green Racing teammate just past the midway point in the race. Kanaan scraped the wall and collected Sarah Fisher, ending both their races. Andretti went on unscathed but wound up third after a late-race adjustment by his team upset the car’s handling.
In the end, it was Dixon who won the world’s most important and richest open-wheel race.
He took the lead for good in the pits 29 laps from the end, getting out just ahead of eventual runner-up Vitor Meira.